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February 12, 2020

Arrest warrants for approver in Paragon Housing scam

Lahore

February 12, 2020

LAHORE:An accountability court on Tuesday issued arrest warrants for one Qaiser Amin Butt, a director of Paragon City and approver in the case against Khawaja Brothers in Paragon Housing scam.

The court has issued arrest warrants for Qaiser as he was continuously absent from the court proceedings. Previously, the NAB had been submitting his medical reports before the court. However, on Tuesday, the NAB failed to submit medical record of Qaiser before the court after which the court issued his arrest warrants.

Khawaja Saad Rafique didn’t appear before the court as he was in Islamabad to attend National Assembly session. As per reference details, Qaiser Amin Butt, the main accused in the Paragon Housing scam, voluntarily disclosed the facts related to the commission of offence and requested for pardon under Section 26 of the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999 (NAO 1999), which was granted by the competent authority.

The NAB filed reference against Kh Saad Rafique, Kh Salman Rafique, Nadeem Zia Pirzada, his son Umer Zia and Farhan Ali. NAB stated in the reference that Saad Rafique, in connivance with his wife Ghazala Saad Rafique, brother Salman Rafique, Qaiser Amin Butt and Nadeem Zia, started a housing project namely Air Avenue, which was an illegal housing society.

Later, it was converted into M/s Paragon City (Pvt) Ltd. Saad Rafique and Salman Rafique, in connivance with Nadeem Zia and Qaiser Amin Butt, defrauded a large number of members of the housing society. Saad opened a company, Executive Builders, in his and his wife’s name, and later converted it into Paragon and withdrew a big amount from the account of Executive Builders. The Khawaja Brothers embezzled the funds of illegal housing society for personal gains, and collected heavy amounts despite clear directions from the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) that the society was illegal.

Moreover, the Khawaja Brothers wrongfully received Rs18.2 million from Paragon City in their accounts. NAB stated that Kh Saad Rafique established a firm, namely Saadain Associates, and wrongfully gained Rs58 million from M/s Executive Builders. Also, Kh Salman Rafique established a firm namely KSR Associates, and wrongfully gained Rs39 million from M/s Executive Builders, which was a proxy concern of M/s Paragon City. NAB claimed that Khawaja Brothers owned 93.6 percent shares of the Paragon City, while Qaiser Amin Butt owned 7.4 percent shares of the project.

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